Difference Between -고 and -서

Last week I learned two useful verb ending that will help connect phrases or thoughts. These are the verb endings -고 and -서 . These two verbs ending is almost the same in function but have difference in meaning. Difference can be noted in the example below:

  1. 약국에 가 약을 샀어요. (Yakkuke kago yakeul sasseoyo.) I went to the pharmacy and bought medicine.
  2. 약국에 가 약을 샀어요. (Yakkuke kaso yakeul sasseoyo.) I went to the pharmacy so as to buy medicine.

The first sentence where -고 is used, going to the pharmacy and buying of medicine is merely a declaration of two. The second sentence on the otherhand shows purpose/result sentence construction.

So in an English point of view -고 is used to connect phrases to resemble these thought pattern– ‘ and (then afterwards)‘ or  ‘and (also in addition). While -서 goes by the thought patterns ‘so‘ or ‘so as to’, it can also mean ‘and then afterwards’ but with emphasis on purpose-result sentence pattern.  This means the two phrases or ideas are more linked as sequence of events.


Happy Birthday Song

My collegues know how passionate I am in learning Korean so whenever there are birthday celebration in the office, they would tease me to sing the Happy Birthday Song in Korean.

It’s i think one of the basic songs that you can learn in Korean which goes like this:

새일 축하합니다

Saengil chukhahamnida


생일 축하합니다

Saengil chukhahamnida


사랑하는 <이름/ >

Saranghaneun <name-i/sshi>


생일 축하합니다

Saengil chukhahamnida

The tone is of course the same as the happy birthday song in English.  Funny that 축하합니다 actually means congratulations if you translate it directly and people wouldn’t normally say congratulations on your birthday at least in our culture and some other country’s culture.  Some think its rude to say congratulations to a person who is actually aging or adding a year on his age.  

한국어 음악을 아주 좋아해요.
그리고 한국어 잘 하고 싶어서 가사을 이해하겠어요.